Easy Summer Desserts made with Italian Liqueurs
Amaretto Chocolate Pudding
At the height of summer, few people crave heavy desserts but dinner guests often enjoy something fresh and seasonal. These easy recipes are for grown-ups only. In a sense, they combine an after-dinner drink with a light dessert. To make these desserts for children, substitute similar flavored extracts for the liqueurs.
Amaretto Chocolate Pudding(Serves 6)
2-1/2 cups whole milk
1 (5 ounce) box cook and serve chocolate pudding
1/2 cup bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips
5 tablespoons Amaretto, divided
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
Combine the first 3 ingredients and 4 tablespoons amaretto in a saucepan.
Whisk over medium heat until the chocolate melts and pudding comes to a boil and thickens. Divide among 6 dessert dishes. Chill until cold, at least 1 hour.
Whip the cream, sugar, and remaining tablespoon amaretto until soft peaks form. Top each chilled pudding with a dollop of whipped cream. Top each serving with a few raspberries and some chocolate shavings.
Biscotti Parfaits with Sambuca
Try different flavor combinations - chocolate or coffee ice cream with dried cherries, figs, or apricots. For more liqueur flavor, soak the fruit in the sambuca for an hour before assembling the parfait.
4 almond biscotti, crushed into crumbs
4 tablespoons Sambuca or other anise-flavored liqueur
1 cup vanilla ice cream
4 tablespoons diced dried fruit
Put one-quarter of the biscotti crumbs in the bottom of 2 wine glasses or parfait glasses. Drizzle each with a little of the liqueur. Layer with one-quarter of the ice cream and one-quarter of the dried fruit. Drizzle with some of the liqueur.
Repeat the ice cream and fruit layers and top with a layer of biscotti crumbs.
Drizzle with remaining liqueur. Serve immediately or cover and freeze up to an hour.
Strawberry Mascarpone and Marsala Pudding
8 ounces of mascarpone
6 tablespoons sweet Marsala, divided
3 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar, divided
3 cups sliced, hulled strawberries
2 cups crushed amaretti cookies (about 4 ounces of cookies)
Combine mascarpone, 3 tablespoons Marsala, cream and 2 tablespoons sugar in a bowl. Stir the mixture until blended. In another bowl, combine the strawberries, remaining Marsala, and remaining sugar. Toss gently to blend.
Cover and refrigerate both bowls for 30 minutes.
To serve: Place 2 tablespoons cookie crumbs in each of 2 wine glasses.
Divide strawberry mixture with juices among the glasses. Top with mascarpone mixture and top with remaining cookie crumbs. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
Peach and Prosecco Ice
(Makes 4 cups)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 pound sliced peaches
1 cup chilled Prosecco or other sparkling white wine
Stir sugar and water in a bowl to dissolve the sugar. Stir in orange juice.
Puree peaches in a food processor or blender until finely chopped. With the machine running, pour in the sugar mixture. Process until smooth. Add Prosecco and blend well. Transfer the mixture to a freezer container and freeze until firm, about 3 hours. Let soften slightly at room temperature before serving.
Berries with Mascarpone - Limoncello Cream
Serve with a small glass of chilled Limoncello
3/4 cup heavy cream
4 ounces mascarpone
3 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons Limoncello
8 cups assorted fresh berries (about 2 pounds)
3/4 cup raspberry preserves
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
Combine cream, mascarpone, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and limoncello in a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Set aside.
In another bowl, combine berries, preserves, lemon zest, and 1/2 cup sugar.
Toss gently to combine. Divide berry mixture among 8 serving dishes. Top with mascarpone cream. Serve immediately.
Amaretto Crunch Ice Cream
(2 to 4 servings)
1 pint vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
1/2 cup chopped amaretti cookies
1/4 cup Amaretto
Combine the ingredients in a bowl. Transfer to a freezer container and freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Serve.
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